Exceptional Ventures joins European health and wellness gold rush with new $24 million fund – TechCrunch

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With the aftermath of the pandemic expected to last for years, VCs specializing in health, wellness and general “joy” would appear to have growing fortunes. Funds such as Able Partners and Joyance have popped up in recent years to invest in startups that make people’s lives healthier, or at least more fun. In Europe, this sector has taken off with Nina Capital in Barcelona, ​​Heal Capital in Berlin, InHealth Ventures London and Apollo Health Ventures in Germany, among others.

In this space, a new fund is being launched outside of Europe to advance the continent’s prodigious talent in health and wellness technologies.

Exceptional Ventures is a new venture capital firm based in London, which invests in technologies that give people “happier, healthier and longer lives, while supporting planetary health”, they say.

Exceptional Ventures Fund 1 will be a £20m/$24m vehicle primarily focused on the UK and Europe, with some investments made further afield, focusing on early-stage startups, primarily at the stage of pre-priming and priming.

The founders, Paolo Pio and Matt Cooper. The team also includes investment associate Michella Botto Andrade, an engineer by training and formerly at L’Oréal.

Pio was previously MD Europe at Joyance Partners, where he invested in 25 start-ups in 9 countries. He is also co-founder and trainer of Urban Tribe, a fitness bootcamp in London and Dubai.

Cooper was part of the founding team of Capital One Bank in the United States and later founded CapitalOne Bank (Europe). He was also co-founder of Tandem Bank, chairman of Octopus Capital Group, and has invested in over 130 companies as an Angel.

Uniting to form Exceptional Ventures in early 2021, the team has so far invested in mental health (Clerkenwell Health), soft drink alternatives and the future of food (Bar.On, Planetary and REAL) and sustainable feminine and personal hygiene. care products (Here We Flo).

Speaking to me on a call, Pio said the fund aims to build a portfolio of 40 companies.

Cooper added: “Our fund will include health technologies and we will also work on the edges of that. So, in future food, non-alcoholic beverages. We are therefore a little wider than the normal “well-being”. But I feel like this whole area is growing dramatically and attracting top entrepreneurs and attracting a lot of new fund managers. I think the challenge is that a lot of them don’t have the history and the connections that we have. So they can’t access the offers we can. »

Pio added, “I lived and worked in San Francisco at Cisco. The next event we are going to organize will be in London, and another in San Francisco. So it’s great to have the connection with this ecosystem. Sometimes, for example, we invest in companies in Europe that might want to speak with companies in the United States, and we can do that.

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